DIFI Participates at a UN Side-Event on Family-Oriented Policies

Dr. Marya Reed and Ms. Dana Al-Kahlout represented DIFI at a UN side-event, organized by the Qatar Mission to the UN, on “The Role of Family-Oriented Policies in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.”

The event focused on the importance of recognizing and empowering the family unit to achieve international sustainable development goals and was held in preparation for negotiations on the post-2015 agenda. The event was sponsored by the Missions of the State of Qatar, the Republic of Indonesia, the Holy See and Nigeria. H.E. Ms. Alya Ahmed S. Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar, gave the opening statement followed by statements from H.E. Mr. Desra Percaya, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia and Rev. Msgr. Janusz Stanislaw Urbańczyk from the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See.

The statements were followed by a panel discussion with representatives from the organizing NGOs. Dr. Reed discussed the importance of the family in achieving sustainable development goals. Also, it was noted that the main objective of DIFI’s April 2014 conference, “Empowering Families: A pathway to development,” held in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, was to refocus the world’s attention on the mounting evidence that links empowering families and the achievement of development goals. Finally, the conference’s outcome document, the Doha Call to Action, calls on governments to empower and enable families to contribute to development by taking specific actions, including comprehensive and coherent policies to support family stability, focusing poverty alleviation strategies on the family as a unit, valuing the important contributions of all generations within the family and ensuring that families are an integral part of the post 2015 development agenda.

Mrs. Lynn Walsh, Co-chair of the NGO Committee on the Family, examined the importance of focusing on the family to achieve gender equality as well as exploring the complementary roles of women and men within the family. Ms. Marcia Barlow, Director of UN Affairs at United Families International, introduced the idea of developing family policies which focus on family capital. Next, a video was shown examining the book “The Family and MDGs: Using Family Capital to Achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals,” which is edited by Dr. Susan Roylance, funded by DIFI and introduced by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Finally, Dr. Roylance, International Policy and Social Development Coordinator at The Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, gave examples on how to utilize family capital to achieve MDGs.